Frequent and immediate Local updates of Badges in windows 8.1


  • <moved and update from visual studio and c# forum>

    I have a windows store application that needs to show immediately new information on Tiles and Lockscreen Badges.

    Before some one thinks this is silly - just think why windows displays the network status on the lock screens (all screens actually). Now imagine a secure environment that needs to show just as important information in the same place and the same real-time way (as a comparison - if your couldn't login without a network and your couldn't see the network was up near real-time you would end up with *very* frustrated users - that is the style of information I need to show)

    The machine cannot access the internet in any way (local intranet only). 

    The data the application needs to parse is only available via a windows service on the same machine and new information must then be displayed on the applications Live Tile and a Lockscreen Badge immediately.

    The Metro application will not be running full-screen all the time so a Background process of the application will need to be triggered to update the Tiles etc.

    Another issue is the information needs to be displayed on a badge prior to a login - For example the badge on the lockscreen will need to be updated after a system boot and before any user has accessed the system.

    I have spent days trying to achieve this BUT all the windows methods have issues:

    1) Time triggers for background tasks cannot be anymore frequent then every 15 minutes - I need near realtime updates

    2) Push notifications require the external WNS service (machine cannot see the internet or any cloud service)

    3) ControlChannelTriggers do not work on the same machine

    4) You are not allowed to use socket connections on loopback adresses (must access different machine)

    For the "not logged in" requirement  I could create a user that is locked to one app and has a shared or no password that can just display the required info - This has security issues all over it including that no-one has tested that the locking to one app works (for instance <ctrl-x> still works and may be an indication of an attack vector especially if you have multiple monitors connected).

    Even if this becomes acceptable the issue of not being able to do frequent tile updates locally and in background is a show-stopper.

    can anyone provide me with a direction on how to do this inter-process communications with a windows store app


    Sunday, February 01, 2015 4:33 AM


All replies

  • I don't believe there is a good way to do this. What you're really asking for here is a way to set a badge update from a desktop app, but lock-screen badges aren't supported from desktop apps (the desktop dev forums would be the better place for that question, but I'm pretty sure it's toasts only). You can file a new feature request at http://wpdev.uservoice.com .

    Other than that to get the timing you need push notifications would be the normal way, other than not working in your isolated environment. Since you're talking an enterprise scenario you may be able to use a control channel trigger. Loopback connections can be enabled in enterprise environments. See the Enterprise docs for details

    Sunday, February 01, 2015 5:02 AM
  • One thing that occurred to me was maybe dblite sync framework.


    I'm not at all sure how practical this would be, but it might be worth considering.

    I should stress, I don't have much windows store app development experience.

    Please don't forget to upvote posts which you like and mark those which answer your question.
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    Sunday, February 01, 2015 3:57 PM
  • Thank you so much for this

    I have looked through the article and can see the possibilities for when the user is logged on and a UI app can be executing - I will have to see if a background task can be triggered by the sync framework (given the notification model for badges and toasts is in-fact a channel or WNS)...

    Unfortunately not logged in still seems to be the issue and the user cannot logon without the information I wish to provide ...

    It is a good step to try

    Sunday, February 01, 2015 10:22 PM
  • Thank you

    I spent a few hours on this and it is a possible but I have found it to be unreliable - On some installs I successfully turned off the Loopback exception and on others this had limited effect ...

    The flaw though is still the lock-screen without a user already logged on ...

    I wonder how smart-card providers hook in (if they can) ...

    Sunday, February 01, 2015 10:27 PM
  • Smart-card providers are credential providers, not Windows Store apps. See Winlogon and Credential Providers .

    What you are trying to do is outside the scope of what Windows Store apps are designed for. There won't be a perfect solution for this scenario with the limitations you need to work under.


    Saturday, February 07, 2015 3:46 AM